Book Review: The Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper

The Clockwork MenagerieThe Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper

Warning: Review contains spoilers

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

OMG. I love this story very much.

There’s a lot to love about The Clockwork Menagerie. For one, while short and sweet, the world that the author created is vivid in my head: historical and yet modern because of the advanced technology used to make mechanical animals which I find unique and beautiful.

The main character Clement Dyers is one of those who eked out a living by making life-like mechanical animals. Unfortunately he is dealing with many issues all at once: business problems, his former lover, and his stark future.

Secondly, every character and scene in this story has a purpose and as with the setting, the three main characters are well-written. Lastly, the love interest Duke Goodwin made me feel “kilig.” Nothing like a persistent guy trying to say sorry and make it up to Clement in his own special way to sweep not only Clement off his feet but also its readers.

Five stars to The Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper. Here’s to hoping we read more of them and more of this universe.

Thank you to NineStar Press for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

About the Book

Autosmith Clement Dyer wants to create his life-like, mechanical animals in peace. He’s tired of being badgered about selling his business to his long-time rival and former lover, Duke Goodwin. He also craves appreciation for his living works of art.

Unfortunately, not all of Clement’s clients see his clockwork creations the way he does, and a prominent but dissatisfied customer threatens to sink his struggling business into the ground.

 About the Author

Elliot Cooper is a creativity addict who prefers writing stories that embody adventure, a hint of the taboo, and shadows that are deeper than they appear at first glance. All the better if romantic or erotic elements are key.

Elliot also enjoys video games and knitting, and lives in the southern US with his human and feline family.




Book Review: Jefferson Blythe, Esquire by Josh Lanyon

In this fast, fun and dead-sexy male/male new-adult caper from multi-award-winning author Josh Lanyon, twentysomething Jefferson Blythe gets lost, gets found, falls in love and comes out…all in the span of one wild summer.

After his first relationship goes disastrously awry, Jeff Blythe uses his savings to tour Europe—the old-fashioned way. Armed with his grandfather’s1960 copy of Esquire’s Europe in Style, Jeff sets off looking for adventure but finds much, much more than he bargained for…

In London, dodging questions from shady criminals about a mysterious package he most certainly does not have is simple. Losing the gunmen who are convinced he’s someone else is not. And when George, an old friend, offers him help—and a place to stay, and perhaps something more—things become complicated.

Is George really who he seems? And is Jeff finally ready to act on his attraction?

From Paris to Rome and back again, Jeff and George fall for each other, hard, while quite literally running for their lives. But trusting George at his word may leave Jeff vulnerable—in more ways than one.

65,000 words

Expected publication: November 16th 2015 by Carina Press

Purchase Link: amazon UK

About the Author

Arguably the single most influential voice in m/m romance today, JOSH LANYON is the author of the best-selling and much beloved Adrien English series — in addition to over sixty titles of gay mystery, adventure and fantasy.

Josh’s work has been translated into nine languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondari, the largest romance publisher in Italy. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist for Gay Mystery, and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads Favorite M/M Author Lifetime Achievement award.

Josh is married and lives in Southern California.


My Review
Warning: Contains Spoilers
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading Jefferson Blythe, Esquire immensely as I’m wont to do when reading a Josh Lanyon book.

Jefferson Blythe, twenty two, is fresh out of college and is currently facing a crossroad in his life. His childhood sweetheart Amy broke off their engagement and, hurting, he went to a two-week vacation in Europe where he is supposedly spending four days each in London, Paris, and Rome using the money he saved for her engagement ring. 🙂

Equipped with his determination, his thirst for adventure, his fedora, his grandpa’s book [which Jefferson referred to as The Book, Esquire’s Europe in Style], a partial list of the places he wanted to see, and his old, battered suitcase (again, courtesy of his grandpa), he ventured to mirror the grand tour his grandpa made fifty years ago. The moment he landed at the Heathrow Airport however, things started to take a bizarre turn. From there, everything that could go wrong went wrong and half of his journey was spent getting kidnapped or trying to dodge someone who’s trying to kill him.

There’s a lot about this book that I love. It’s hilarious for one. Okay, so there’s nothing funny about getting kidnapped or getting shot at many times but his pursuers were. There’s nothing like someone dumb, greedy, plus a nutter getting together to make a story colorful. It’s clearly a recipe for disaster.

I loved the main character, Jeff, and I loved that Josh wrote Jeff’s story wherein he literally embarked on a tour in order to find himself. I loved what Josh Lanyon’s trying to say in this book: that life is a journey, an adventure we must savor and experience never mind that half the time we’re met with disasters (or one disaster to another). For what kind of life is it if we don’t experience both the good and the bad? ❤ Because in the end, it’s how we find out who we truly are. ❤

Mystery: check, humor: check, romance: check, adventure: check. So yeah, five stars for me. 🙂


Book Review: The Year We Became Invincible by Mae Coyiuto

ISBN13: 9789712731488
Publisher: Anvil Publishing, Inc.
Format: Paperback
Pages: 179 pages

Dear Future Reader,

If you’re reading this book, it’s either:

1. You’re my future partner

2. I’m famous and my writings have been immortalized

3. You’ve violated my privacy and these are not meant for you

Let’s hope it’s not the last one. Before this year, I had my life all planned out. This book contains the story of the year that changed my life (well, my life so far). It’s the year I learned how to be invincible. That wasn’t really specific, but I guess you have to read on to see what I’m talking about.




About the Author

Mae, or more formally known as Samantha Mae Coyiuto, wrote her first story at the age of six. She learned to love the art of illustrating and writing for children’s books. She first released a series of three children’s books: Fantastically Funny Tales, Friendly and Magical Tales, and Hilarious Animal Tales.

In 2010, she released her first YA book containing a series of short stories in her book Flight to the Stars & Other Stories. But after publishing Flight to the Stars & Other Stories, she realized that she wanted to pursue writing for the YA genre. Thus, the birth of The Year We Became Invincible.

Currently, she flies back and forth between the Philippines and California, where she is currently finishing her degree in Psychology. She hopes to finish sometime soon and is looking forward to a life of constant surprise.

To learn more about Mae and her stories, you can follow her on Twitter @maecoyiuto or check out her website

You can buy Mae’s book here:


My Review
Warning: Contains Spoilers
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟out of 5 stars

The Year We Became Invincible by Mae Coyiuto is one of my favorite reads this year. Admittedly, I got nervous after reading the blurb at the back of the book. Because I didn’t like it. I thought its beautiful cover was overcompensating for the book’s story or lack of it (Being an avid reader, I have learned that beautiful covers didn’t mean beautiful stories lol). 😀 Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised and I’ve never been so happy to be proven wrong.

This book, written in epistolary form, is an amazing read. It is about high school student Camille Li writing to her “Future Partner” about her daily life, her ups and downs, worries about the future, and her love problems. The story is realistic and highly relatable. Most of all, Mae Coyiuto’s writing style reminded me of the books shown below which I loved reading when I was sixteen. 😀 Heh. Mae was probably not born yet at the time. Lol.

For such a fast read, The Year We Became Invincible is packing with a lot of life lessons. I loved a lot of one-liners unfortunately I was reading this on a moving bus on my way to an orphanage so I couldn’t jot down the quotes. But here are some I found during my quick scan:

“Imagine emptying the contents of your garbage can. Then, pile on another hundred pounds of trash. Pour buckets of the nastiest leftovers you can think of. Finally, top it all off with a layer of crap. Then, imagine being underneath that whole pile. I guess that’s the only way I can really describe how I feel right now.”

“Don’t let the disillusion of your dreams ever stop you from dreaming.”

“You know when you’re a kid, a lot of people keep telling you ‘you’re the future’ or ‘you can do anything’. I started to doubt all of that when I grew up. Reality becomes clearer when you grow up. You start to set these limits — these limits that dictate who you should be and what you should do. These limits build up over the years, and you don’t want to think beyond them. You don’t want to go beyond because it’s terrifying. You don’t know who you become past these limits, and that’s really terrifying. I felt that fear during our adventures, but I learned that it’s okay to be scared. Fear is okay if you don’t let it take over. When I did things despite that fear, that’s when all these limits didn’t matter. For the first time, I actually believe that I can do anything… I’m INVINCIBLE.”

“I’m the type of person who likes planning. When you have a plan, it says if you follow this one direction, everything’s going to be okay. The problem is life doesn’t have one direction. Sometimes, you never know where to go or even how far you’re going. Maybe instead of planning my life, it would be better to add life to my plan.”

“There are some people who know exactly who they want to be, and there are some people who have no idea. I’m still trying to figure out which one of the two I fall under. I don’t have all the answers right now (I actually have more questions than answers), but what I do know is that I’m lucky to be loved. ”

“Some whole families are not that whole, and some broken families are not that broken.”

Okay so these last two quotes… I love it because it reminded me of my sister and me and how we look out for each other. My elder sister is refusing to undergo an operation (she’s very, very scared) and I have to remind her that I, too, have her back.

“Your little sister will always look out for you.”

“I’m looking out for you, too.”

We may not realize our goals in life the way we envisioned it to, but it’s not the end of the world. Every time we stumble and fall, we can just get up and try walking again. Or, in Camille’s case, dancing. 🙂

Five stars to The Year We Became Invincible. It’s a book I’m sure I will reread. ❤ Shout out to Mina for my copy of this book. Thank you again! 🙂

Book Review: Out of the Blue by Josh Lanyon

Warning: ** spoiler alert **

My Rating: ★★★★★

I thought this book is hot, that and well, heartbreaking. It’s about World War I after all. The story revolved around British flying ace Bat Bryant whose lover Gene perished during one of their missions, and how he accidentally killed their mechanic Sid Orton who threatened him with exposure.

This book has been sitting in my audible for months as I was too nervous to “read” this. Because. Murder. No matter how accidental it is still murder. I know, I know, it is fiction. Still, I worried for the main character.

Then of course there was the war. The pilots drop dead faster than the flies and that’s saying something. Most often they lasted a day on the job then they’d be replaced by others who get replaced as well later on. Such a vicious cycle but that’s war for you.

As the story went deeper I dreaded the coming of a new day, because I knew another pilot will die. And that’s how good of a writer Josh is, he brings the readers right into the middle of the action, make them feel dread, make them experience the war, albeit vicariously.

I also loved the characters but I loved Cowboy the most. He’s smokin’ sexy. I could tell right away he was in love with Bat.

And did I say this book is hot, hot, hot? ^__^

Jho-sigstyledivAbout the book:

France, 1916. The Great War. High above the carnage in the trenches, British and German aces joust like knights of old for control of the skies. The strain and tension of living every day on the edge of death leads to dangerous choices and wild risks. When British ace Bat Bryant’s past catches up with him, he strikes out in panic and kills the man threatening him with exposure. But there’s a witness: the big, handsome American pilot Cowboy Cooper.

Cowboy, it seems, has his own ideas of rough justice.

GoodreadsbadgeAbout the Author

A distinct voice in gay fiction, multi-award-winning author JOSH LANYON has been writing gay mystery, adventure and romance for over a decade. In addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and novels, Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist.

Facebook Fan Page:
Josh’s Blog:

Currently Reading: Come to Me by Megan Derr

I am currently reading: Come to Me by Megan Derr

Come to Me by Megan Derr

Come to Me by Megan Derr

Publisher: Less than Three Press

About the book:

The roles of High Paladin and High Necromancer do not allow for much free time, even less where they might spend it together. When they do finally obtain some time to spend with each other, Sorin and Koray find there are still doubts and fears between them that will take more than time to overcome …

About this author

Megan is a long time resident of m/m fiction, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she’s not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies (especially all things James Bond). She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all around the internet. @amasour

Book Review: Black Magic by Megan Derr

Black Magic by Megan Derr

Black Magic by Megan Derr

Black Magic by Megan Derr

My Rating: ★★★★★

Publisher: Less than Three Press

My Review:

I’ve been trying to avoid reading this book since like forever ~ no, not because I didn’t like the blurb of the story ~ in fact, I loved it very much. It’s just that this is way too long for me and when I read, I don’t stop until I finish the book. Needless to say, nowadays, I prefer reading shorts.

But, Come to Me was released ~ the sequel of Black Magic. I really love short stories and I wanted to read that one, badly. LOL. And it bothered me that Come to Me has been sitting on my tablet for over two weeks already ~ left unread. So I figured, why shouldn’t I read this? After all, I finished Of Last Resort ~ Megan’s other latest book ~ rather quickly, and that one was only like 22% shorter than this one.

And so, I finally picked up this book and after reading it, I wanted to kick myself for not reading it earlier. ^___^

The thing with Megan’s works is that, after reading them, it would leave me undecided as to which one is my most favorite story of hers ~ it’s just that I love them all and it’s really hard to choose. 😛

Anyway, Black Magic rendered me … speechless. I just … I loved Koray very much. And I love stories about the oppressed rising above the tides ~ there’s something about it that’s inspiring. I have no words to describe how I felt after reding this. I was sooo just happy and feeling sooo inspired and I don’t know … jubilant? elated? 🙂 I know, I know. ^__^ But it’s such a feel-good book, though at the same time, I feel sad for Ambrose and Rakken.

I’m not going to say any more. 🙂 You’ll have to read the book yourself. Although the world is complicated, it’s such an easy read.

Now, I can finally read Come to Me. Lol. ❤

Happy reading! Cheers! 🙂

About the book:

When High Paladin Sorin discovers the brutally dismembered body of his cousin Alfrey, a much loved priest in the royal palace, he is left baffled as to who would do so terrible a thing to so good a man. But to find the answer to that question, he must cooperate with one of the highly despised necromancers, men who practice black magic, sleep in graveyards and feed upon souls …

The necromancer Koray, however, is far from what he expected. He is beautiful, stubborn, and possessed of a tongue sharp enough to cut down even the High Paladin himself. Koray is also possessed of a strength like nothing Sorin has ever encountered, and the power of the Goddess herself.

It does not take them long to realize that solving a murder is the easiest challenge they must face, and in order to save a kingdom they must first unravel centuries of lies and misunderstandings.

About this author

Megan is a long time resident of m/m fiction, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she’s not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies (especially all things James Bond). She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all around the internet.